With hundreds of channels and on-demand content from multiple sources, making it easy for viewers to find what they want is becoming a critical facility. In response, Rovi said upcoming versions of its Passport Guide will include new content discovery features, including remote record and VOD search.
The new features allow viewers to search and find VOD content, start and stop an on-demand program in one room and restart it in another, and watch primetime TV on-demand.
In addition, the Passport Guide product plans include the functionality to allow users to set their DVR remotely or select VOD content for viewing at a later time from any device that can connect to the Internet and open a Web browser.
VOD Search is to be integrated with the current search function in Passport. Viewers would be able to search by title, description and cast to find new content. The search results would appear on a single screen alongside results from TV listings or combined on-demand and TV listings.
Whole-home VOD provides a whole-home experience to watching VOD content by allowing consumers to share programming between digital STBs. For example, the subscriber would be able to start a VOD program in one room on a Passport-enabled STB and then resume play in another room on a different Passport-enabled STB.
Other features include:
• Primetime TV – For certain broadcast and cable networks that are offered by the service provider, consumers would be able to replay Primetime TV programs on-demand without having to set a recording in advance.
• VOD Pick List – This capability would allow consumers to browse on-demand content available to them through a Web application and select programming to be put in their VOD queue for viewing at a later date or time.
• Remote Record – Consumers would be able to set recordings on their DVR from any device that can connect to the Internet and open a Web browser. This feature will be supported by Rovi’s hosted communications infrastructure and Web-based listings application.
For the service provider, the Passport Guide is expected to include additional flexibility to introduce an MSO-customized interactive homepage, send targeted messages directly to subscribers’ STBs, and designate the navigation path to direct subscribers to an area of the service provider’s choice after an on-demand program has finished.
“There is an influx of television content that is readily available today to the consumer through the service provider, yet finding this content can sometimes be a difficult maze to navigate, with preset schedules often getting in the way,” said Corey Ferengul, Rovi’s executive vice president of marketing and product management.